The first thing you notice about them in your (randomly generated) galaxy is that there will be some small, yellow icons next to a few sectors. They indicate that that sector has the bounty hunters' stronghold, and will extort some of your REZ if you pass by that sector and any sector adjacent to it, where the bounty hunters operate. This sounds like it would be bad, especially as a space pirate that are busting through UTA warp defense blockades and destroying other people's ships, who would put up bounties on your head, but you CAN go to the bounty hunters' stronghold to pay off your bounty, and even earn some respect by paying more REZ, or proving your worth in some pre-set Arena combats. By gaining respect, you can hire the bounty hunters to do things like clearing warp gates for you, or in Chapter 4, fight off zombies to the point of clearing out the infection from a whole sector. They are some very strong help to have, if you can afford to pay their toll prices, which is usually something like 14% to 25% of your current REZ count, at least from my experience.
|Bounty Hunter Stronghold|
Additionally, the bounty hunters also have 10 new ships for you to take (by force) as well; 2 of each size classes. These ships feel like it's much stronger than the previously available ships from my first impression, and have been proving to be fairly useful to have on your side, while also being a tough opponent when opposing them. Don't lose these ships to the zombies!
More details on the patch update can be found here.